Background: Torso hemorrhage constitutes a leading cause of battlefield mortality. The Abdominal Aortic and Junctional Tourniquet (AAJT) uses a pneumatic bladder to compress the aorta reducing pelvic and lower extremity perfusion; however, concern exists over the risk of caval compression exacerbating hypotension after application.
Methods: Male swine (70-90 kg) were randomized into four groups of 10: presence or absence of hemorrhage and AAJT placement. After a 40% hemorrhage, a 15-min period of hypovolemia was observed before the AAJT application. All animals received two 500 mL boluses of Hextend separated by 30 min. Cardiovascular, pulmonary, and oxygenation values were compared among groups.
Results: The AAJT was effective in reducing blood flow to the femoral arteries in both hemorrhaged and nonhemorrhaged animals (P < 0.001 for both groups). Hemorrhage resulted in significant decrease in mean arterial pressure compared with sham controls (23.5 ± 2.4 versus 61.6 ± 7.8 mm Hg, respectively, P < 0.001). AAJT application, compared with untreated controls, resulted in a significant increase in mean arterial pressure and systemic vascular resistance but not in cardiac output, oxygenation, and central venous pressure. Furthermore, no indication of overresuscitation injury was present as evidenced by pulmonary artery pressure and pulmonary histology.
Conclusions: AAJT application in an animal model of severe shock results in a favorable hemodynamic profile because of afterload support. The present study did not demonstrate any adverse consequences because of caval compression, bowel injury, or pulmonary dysfunction. In addition, there does not appear to be any particular intravenous fluid economy achieved by AAJT application.
Keywords: Abdominal Aortic Junctional Tourniquet; Hemorrhage control; Swine; Trauma.
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